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News
Jun 26 2015
Icicle Seafoods Broken Up, Sold PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 June 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
One of Alaska's largest seafood processors has been sold. Icicle Seafoods, which has had the for sale sign out since being acquired by private equity firm, is being broken up and sold to two different companies.

Convergence Holdings will acquire Icicles land-based wild seafood processing and farmed salmon operations, and Dominion Catchers LLC will get Icicles catcher-processors and associated quota. 

SeafoodNews.com reports the two companies will entered into a deal to continue operating as Icicle.

Financial terms were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in August. 
 
Jun 26 2015
Harvests Yet to Top Half-Million PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 June 2015
Jay Barrett/KMXT
The latest in-season harvest estimates for the Kodiak salmon fishery from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game show a catch through yesterday at just above 450,000. 

All- species harvest on Thursday was 14,308, with chum salmon making up more than half that total at 7,718. The sockeye catch was just over 3,300, pinks were nearly 1,600, silvers just over 1,500, with 120 kings brought in.

Species total so far this season have 336,971 reds harvested, 56,219 chum, 35,749 pinks, 20,574 silvers and 2,102 kings. 
 
Jun 26 2015
City Council to Repair Mill Bay Road, Postpones Subsistence Act Resolution PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 26 June 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT
The Kodiak City Council touched on Senator Murkowski’s rural status and subsistence bill last night at its regular meeting among other items of new business, including a contract with Brechan Enterprises.

On the agenda was the resolution to support the Subsistence Access Management Act of 2015, which would leave urban versus rural community status up to the United States Congress. 

In her staff report, city manager Aimée Kniaziowski referred to the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly’s decision at its last regular meeting.

“There was concern expressed at the borough level by the Aleutian Kodiak subsistence advisory board about the fact that this would come from the federal government and that it might limit local control or influence, so the Borough Assembly pulled their resolution to get more information and hold off,” says Kniaziowski.
Kniaziowski says the city heard back from their lobbyist in DC, and she described the email it received explaining the bill.

“The intent was never to eliminate local control, but simply to reinforce what they’d been hearing from the Kodiak community, that it would take a great deal to change, take away, the status of rural for the purposes of subsistence,” says Kniaziowski.

The council agreed to postpone the decision on that resolution.

An authorization request to contract Brechan Enterprises for road repair was also on the agenda. Kniaziowski described the need for repair on Mill Bay road around the police station and from Benny Benson towards Wal-Mart, a project she says would cost $1,150,000.

“The focus will be on Mill Bay and trying to mitigate some of the worst of the wear that we’re all seeing happen and try and save that road bed,” says Kniaziowski. “We’d like to work with them to use one stretch with hard rock in the hope that we can do a test and see if that hard rock section holds up better than the standard rock that we have used for our paving.”

Councilman Charles Davidson spoke favorably about the switch from soft rock.

“I want to be grateful for the fact that they’re gonna use some hard rock on part of this re-pavement, because you drive out Mill Bay - that’s one of my greatest concerns,” says Davidson. “That road is falling apart obviously, and it’s not that old, really.”

The council moved to authorize the construction. Its next regular meeting will be on July 23, and a joint work session with the Kodiak Island Borough Assembly is planned for Tuesday, June 30.

 
Jun 25 2015
Sun'aq Tribe and Native Village of Afognak Meet with Navy Representatives PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Kayla Desroches/KMXT

The Sun’aq Tribe and the Native Village of Afognak met with military representatives the day after a forum where the Navy assured the public it would not use all the weaponry and technology approved in its environmental impact statement for the training between June 15 and 26.

Tom Lance, the Sun’aq Tribe’s Natural Resources Director, says at that meeting he expressed concern that the Navy is legally able to perform the exercises listed in the EIS.

“My comment to them was ‘Well, hey, you got the license to drive 55, but yet you’re telling us you’re only gonna drive 25. Why should we believe you that you’re gonna drive 25?’” says Lance. “So, they responded that they will send a letter from the Alaska command who is in charge of Northern Edge 15 describing in detail what they would do. And we did receive that letter.”

Lance says he wonders what future training might include.

“The Navy went ahead and did what they planned to do at this reduced level, but next year will bring a whole new round,” says Lance. “So, [the] Sun’aq Tribe and [the] Native Village of Afognak did not agree to any level of Navy use for the Gulf of Alaska for anything that would cause destruction of the resource or impact on the resource, pollution of the resource.”

Lance says they discussed establishing a more open line of dialogue with the Department of Defense at the formal consultation between Native and military representatives.

“The result was that the DOD will do a better job of communicating with tribes and all residents of Kodiak Archipelago, and the Gulf of Alaska for that matter, on future training exercises.”

But Lance says the Sun’aq Tribe won’t be satisfied until the Navy can prove it's not harming or affecting the oceans or their animal life.
 
Jun 25 2015
Dig Afognak's Harvesting Camp Starts Friday PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 25 June 2015
afognak_coastline.jpgAfognak Island coastline. Via Wikipedia

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A cultural education camp for youth starts up on Afognak Island this Friday. Dig Afognak gives Native Alaskan children from ages 9 to 14 the chance to participate in four themes over four weeks.

Melissa Borton is the tribal administrator for the Native Village of Afognak and says this coming week is harvesting / earth camp.

“We teach kids how to harvest our local resources – fish, seal – we have a cultural education permit to take deer out of season, we harvest plants, we go tide pooling for octopus,” says Borton. “And then we also teach not over-harvesting resources, taking care of the land so that it continues to produce those types of things.”

She says the second week is survivor camp.

“To us it’s important to have that one because of where we live,” says Borton. “It’s a reality that our kids could grow up, or even as kids, be put in a situation where some wilderness survival or ocean survival techniques are a necessity. So, we started the survivor camp several years ago and it’s a lot of fun, but it’s also good lessons and things that we want our kids to learn.”

Following that are the Afognak Native Corporation Shareholder Camp for youth and adults and the language immersion camp combined with music learning. Borton says the camp used to be six weeks and 100 percent tent-based.

“We’re actually in the process of building our final building, which is the largest, and it’s the mess hall, and the kitchen and all of that. So, while we’ve been doing construction and the funding that is involved with doing the construction, we’ve reduced our camps to four weeks. Once all construction is done, we’re hoping if we can keep it funded at the same level we’ll increase back to six weeks of camp,” says Borton.

There is a $100 fee for tribal members and $200 for non-members.

Nina Gronn is 22 and works for the Native Village of Afognak. She says she’s been involved with the camp for a few years and, besides the community and the connection with Native culture, she says it’s an escape and an experience.

“You’re away from reality, you’re away from that technology, that always constantly having that cell phone or turning on the TV. You’re just out there, enjoying nature,” says Gronn. “Everybody gets up and comes in for breakfast, and you’re happy and enjoying the view out there whether it’s raining or sunshining.”

Dig Afognak accepts donations of money and camp-related items like bunk beds, generators, chainsaws, as well as miscellaneous lumber. Whether you’d like to donate or join the waitlist, you can call 907-486-6357 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it
 
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